It used to be the case that when you wanted to retire you would do it all at once. You reach that magical age, be it 60, 65, 70, drop everything and enjoy a life of leisure. In today’s world, that may not always be possible, or even desirable.
More and more people are taking retirement one-step at a time. Instead of dropping everything and moving to a warmer climate, the new trend of downsizing within a community may be what you’re looking for.
Full time -> part time
The life of leisure that awaits after retirement may not be exactly what you had in mind. Often times, the lack of work can be a burden instead of a relief. This is why many seniors seek to remain active and busy throughout their 60’s and well into their 70’s. This doesn’t mean working the same full time job, but instead downsizing to part time work or consultancy.
While working part time can keep you busy and involved, and depending on your situation it might also be a financial necessity.
Stay close to home
Downsizing and retiring in steps also means that you are able to remain close to your original community. This could entail moving to a smaller apartment or house near the city (with more amenities and less maintenance) or remaining where you are.
In the United States, 87% of people that are 65 or older are choosing to remain close to their current community. While the beaches and resorts of the south may be calling, remaining in an area where you have roots, connections, and can continue to work and be involved has it’s benefits to the modern ‘retiree’.
But I want Florida
We know how you feel. Many of our clients are regulars of tropical destinations like the sunshine state. Well just because you’re still working, doesn’t mean you can take regular trips down south. With a part time or reduced work schedule, you’ll have plenty of time to take vacations without sacrificing your career or commitments at home. Once you do decide to pack it up for good, the beaches will still be waiting.
So when should I retire for good?
Decide what’s best for you and your family. Take into account both financial considerations as well as questions of convenience. Remember though, just because you’re told that you’re supposed to retire at a certain age, it’s your decision on when and how you pack it up – whether it’s all at once or in slow, small steps.
Retiring is a big decision. Make sure you consult an expert – as well as loved ones – before deciding the next chapter in your life. If you need more information in the mean time, check out CARP. If you do decide to fly south with the snowbirds remember to Buy Before You Fly.
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